Plus THE BOOK REPORT #2. 30-minute weekly radio program for March 29, 2011.
A radio adaptation of Cosima Dannoritzer's interesting documentary film. It's about a 20th-century innovation in product design: "planned obsolescence." That is, about consumer products designed to fail early so that another must be purchased--and about the bad effects on our lives and on the environment of this wasteful strategy.
Topics include the international lightbulb cartel (Phoebus), which agreed to greatly reduce the service lives of bulbs, . . . nylon stockings, originally nearly indestructable then intentionally made flimsy by DuPont, . . . the original ($400) iPod, with a soldered-in battery designed to fail early (which the user could not replace and Apple WOULD not replace), . . . the Epson InkJet printer, which has a chip that makes the unit stop working after a set number of copies, . . . and other outrages.
Plus the environmental effects in developing countries of the electronic waste that the U.S. & Europe dumps there. Plus we'll meet (in Part 2) some engineers and other crusaders who are trying to produce products that are environmentally friendly, long-lasting, and easily recyclable.
The documentary was ably adapted to radio by Robin Upton and broadcast on his "Unwelcome Guests" (www.unwelcomeguests.net)--then condensed and slightly rearranged by me.
Also in NWN #160: Edition 2 of THE BOOK REPORT. KD reviews Russ Baker's good work of investigative journalism, *Family of Secrets* (Bloomsbury, 2009). On the Bush dynasty and their enablers & co-conspirators. Summary judgment: 4 out of 5 (well worth reading).
PRO BONO: Free software fix for the InkJet, courtesy of a Russian computer whiz: www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml (described in Part 2).
http://newworldnotes.blogspot.com/ . Permanent link to the entry for this installment: http://newworldnotes.blogspot.com/2011/03/lightbulb-conspiracy.html .